The Center for Learning Through Action

Students working in campus farm's garden

Who We Are

The Center for Learning Through Action facilitates experiential opportunities to deepen student learning, support faculty initiatives, and cultivate engagement with our broader community.

NMH has had a long and proud history of providing a distinctive and holistic education to a diverse student body. The Center for Learning Through Action (CLA) continues our school’s tradition and long-standing reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking educational leader.

In support of the school's mission to “engage the intellect, compassion and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose," the CLA coordinates the efforts of NMH’s experiential programs and initiatives, which include the Global Engagement Office, the Work program, the Farm Program, Service Learning, Outdoor Outreach, the Social Entrepreneurship program, and Sustainability Education.

With programs centering around themes of global and community engagement, service, social entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship and sustainability, and the value of hands-on hard work, the CLA serves as NMH’s hub for the provision and development of an innovative hybrid of place-based, experiential, global, and service learning initiatives.

The CLA works to engage faculty, staff and students in collaborative initiatives to create innovative, engaged, and transformative learning and teaching experiences. It is our goal to design opportunities that promote a more well-rounded and coherent educational experience for our students and inspire them to think in terms of systems rather than subjects.

Programs Overview

Farm Program
Fields and barn at campus farmThe NMH farm is a small, diversified operation that has been a part of school life since 1879. It is where many of our most cherished values — curiosity, hard work, creativity, and stewardship — come together. Our educational farm serves as a science lab, a work-project site, and even a place to practice a bit of entrepreneurship. The farm is also the source of some of the delicious fresh food served in our dining hall.

  • Jake Morrow, Farm Program Director
  • Jeff Mott, Farm Assistant
  • Chaldea Deyman, Farm Assistant

Global Engagement Office (GEO)
Student group studying abroadThe Global Engagement Office (GEO) supports a comprehensive global education and services program consisting of domestic and international study-away programs, international student support and services, and globally themed programming. GEO strives to inspire a globally informed and compassionate community, and to be attentive to the needs and interests of our diverse, multinational, and multicultural student body.

GEO Blog GEO on Instagram

Outdoor Outreach, Outdoor Program
group of students canoeing on lakeThe Outdoor Program has two main areas of focus: Outdoor Team and Outdoor Outreach. The Outdoor Team involves girls and boys from novice to expert in activities such as mountain biking, canoeing, off-road triathlons, road biking, and stand-up-paddle boarding. The team meets in the fall and spring terms, and participants receive an athletic credit. Outdoor Outreach supports important school activities such as freshman and sophomore orientations, Mountain Day, the Source To Sea Connecticut River Cleanup, community ice skating, the Student Activities Program, and academic year and summer programming for NMH special-interest groups.

Service-Learning Program
Students clearing brush on Service DayThe Service-Learning Program facilitates meaningful service experiences that encourage students and the NMH community at large to make a positive impact in their local and global communities. Service-learning opportunities at NMH are organized around three core programs: community engagement, student-led global initiatives, and service travel. Through these experiences, our students begin to understand the complex challenges of communities near and far, and how they can be agents of change.

Social Entrepreneurship Program
student raising a point in discussionThe Social Entrepreneurship Program at NMH includes academic courses, workshops, outside speakers, and conferences. The cornerstone of the program is our selective, year-long Rhodes Fellowship Course, in which juniors develop the skills necessary to launch their own enterprises. Social entrepreneurship is in line with our mission and our school’s greater vision of “education in action.” Students actively engaged in social entrepreneurship are also inherently focused on “resilience, sustainability, and citizenship.”

Social Entrepreneurship Blog

Sustainability Education, Office of Sustainability
Plant sprouts in greenhouseThe NMH Office of Sustainability guides students as they learn how to be effective and engaged stewards of environmental, social, and economic resources. Educational sustainability programs such as the Collaborative Curriculum Project, Farmers' Market Teach-In, Green Cup Challenge, and Ecoleaders make our campus a vibrant living laboratory. The school's curriculum, operations, policy, and culture all hold sustainability as a central tenet, helping our community to protect the integrity of future generations' quality of life.

Work Program
Student gathers sap from maple tree in early springThe Work Program is a cornerstone feature of an NMH education. At NMH, all students, as stated in our mission, “participate equally in the daily work of the school so that they may cultivate a respect for the dignity of labor and service to the community both within and beyond the school.” Students and adults work together daily to provide essential work to the school community. Participation in this work by all students on campus has been an integral component of the curriculum since the founding of the school, and remains a graduation requirement.

Work Program on Facebook


Learning Through Action Summit
A group of students collaborates as part of the Learning Through Action Summit

At this annual event, students participate in, learn about, and reflect on a range of hands-on activities. This event underscores the many ways the seven CLA programs support NMH’s mission to empower students to act with humanity and purpose — on campus, in the local community, and as they travel around the globe. See the photo album, and read the news story.

Contact Us

Center for Learning Through Action
Social Hall, Garden Level
Northfield Mount Hermon School
One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon, MA 01354

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Taylor King

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Nhu Hoang

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Gretel Schatz, Director of the Dance program, instructs a dance student.

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.


“The best thing about NMH is the connections you make.” 


“NMH challenges students to innovate and persevere while keeping in mind the effects of our actions on the community."


“This community gives me the resources to grow as a student and discover passions I never knew I had.” 


“I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed, thanks to NMH.”


"I love the freedom I have to explore what I am passionate about."


"NMH gives us space to experiment and gradually to grow into ourselves."


"I noticed how welcoming everyone was when I first came to campus.”


“The first step to excelling at NMH is embracing your own individuality.” 


“I appreciate the bond faculty and students have at NMH.”


"The community at NMH is unlike any I’ve ever known, and for that I am grateful.”


"NMH allows me to be myself in the classroom and ensures I am an articulate, curious, and courageous student.”


“I was initially surprised by how relaxed, yet academic, the environment is."


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”